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We will push for reforms: FM

business Updated: Jul 31, 2008 20:29 IST

Hindustan Times
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Finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said he would go to every political party for their support to push for pending bills and give a fillip to the reform process.

Chidambaram said legislations to reform the financial sector — the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2005, the Insurance Bill that seeks to raise the foreign direct investment cap to 49 per cent from 26 per cent now and the Pension Fund Regulatory Authority Bill — would be passed before his government demits office.

“Most of the bills are in the last phase of being passed,” he said at a function organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. “We will push for reforms. I have no doubt in my mind that the party leadership will assert itself. I assure you that I will reach out to every section of Parliament and rally their support for passage of the bills.”

Chidambaram said his confidence stems from the fact that “barring one section in Parliament, every other member and party leader believes in reforms”. He was apparently referring to erstwhile Leftist allies, which had prevented the government from pursuing such economic liberalisation measures.

The finance minister said he would canvass the support of the 400-odd MPs. “We can return to the legislative agenda when we re-assemble in Parliament next.”

After winning the trust vote in the Lok Sabha earlier this month, the government has been talking about taking forward the reform process in the remaining period of its term. Next general elections are scheduled for May.

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